The black-market supply chain for great apes is long and profitable for those in it. Smugglers selling chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans profit more as the apes move through the supply chain, with the greatest mark ups happening in the middle of the chain, when the apes are sold to the domestic or international market. Profits for apes at this stage can jump up by roughly 1000 percent.
Sales to foreign wholesalers—the last stage—grosses the most profit, selling for 6.4 million, 2.1 million, and 10 million for chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans respectively. Often, these animals are sold as pets and signs of wealth and status.
This chart shows the estimated percent change from previous selling point of great apes in illegal supply chain.
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